1239 posts tagged with obituary.
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James Brown

James Brown...just died
posted by hortense on Dec 25, 2006 - 284 comments

It was a very good year for city girls...

Jerry Berns, long time co-owner of the "21 Club" in Manhattan, has passed away at the age of 99. The club started as a speakeasy on 21 W. 52nd St. (wmv), used to be home to the $21 burger (now it costs $27), and was sold in 1985 to a business magnate for $21 million. Berns may have made it a point to pass away on the 21st of December, not to be outdone Pete Kriendler, co-owner of the club, who died on the same day five years ago.
posted by phaedon on Dec 23, 2006 - 18 comments

Does this make Turkmenistan an orphan?

Saparmurat Niyazov is dead. The self-designated "father of the Turkmen" was the absolute ruler of Turkmenistan for fifteen years, a minor middle-Asian country which would completely escape the notice of the West if it wasn't for Turkmenbashi's unique form of excess and its oil. Along with the usual human rights violations and wallowing in wealth -- an estimated $3 billion cached in private accounts -- he dedicated himself to reshaping Turkmen's philosophy and cosmology on a scale to inspire Kim Jong Il. Among his accomplishments are redefining the ages of Man and renaming the names of days and months after neutrality, the flag, and Turkmenbashi's mother. Who now will speak up for Turkmen Melon Day?
posted by ardgedee on Dec 21, 2006 - 42 comments

Rest in peace, Joe Barbera

The last of the great animation directors has died. Joe Barbera was half of the Hanna-Barbera duo that created the Oscar-winning Tom and Jerry cartoons for MGM. When that studio closed, they learned how to do cartoons for television on a much smaller budget, and gave us so many memorable characters. Mark Evanier worked for Barbera, and is sharing his memories on his always excellent blog.
posted by evilcolonel on Dec 18, 2006 - 77 comments

Sweet Soul Music

Ahmet Ertegun, 1923-2006. Co-founder of Atlantic Records, 83 year-old Ertegun had been in a coma since he fell backstage at a concert by The Rolling Stones at Beacon Theatre, NYC, in October. Very comprehensive obit -- more complete than either the one in Variety or New York Times -- to be found in UK's Guardian
posted by Mister Bijou on Dec 15, 2006 - 23 comments

lets all . Peter Boyle

ahhh...puttin on the Ritz. this makes me sad.
posted by ShawnString on Dec 13, 2006 - 78 comments

Leslie Harpold Remembered

Leslie Harpold Remembered When her annual advent calendar was not updated after December 7th people all over the web started to express concern over Leslie Harpold's absence. Sadly it has been confirmed that she died sometime last week. I think Leslie would be touched to see the way friends and strangers have spontaneously posted remembrances of her via a medium she loved and help mold.
posted by amphigory on Dec 12, 2006 - 67 comments

Adios Viejo

Adios Viejo! Pinochet dies!
posted by DieHipsterDie on Dec 10, 2006 - 111 comments

The Loss of James Kim

The body of James Kim has been found. RIP
posted by somnambulist on Dec 6, 2006 - 281 comments

No more greetings, pop pickers.

Alan "Fluff" Freeman has died at the age of 79. Although he gave up broadcasting in 2000, due to poor health, he will always be remembered as the man who invented the chart rundown, complete with background music and jingles.

He is probably best known for Pick of the Pops, which reached a mainstream audience, but was also a champion of rock music. Along with John Peel and Tommy Vance, Fluff was the last of the three great DJ's I grew up listening to on late night radio. I'm too young to remember his Radio Luxembourg shows, but The Saturday Night Rock Show on Radio 1 was compulsory listening, part for the music and part for Fluff's unique catchphrases and jingles, particularly Sign of the Swingin' Cymbal (rm) which became his theme on all his radio shows. He was also the inspiration behind the Harry Enfield character Dave Nice. We'll miss you Fluff. Not 'arf!
posted by bap98189 on Nov 28, 2006 - 29 comments

He shall be fire and life forever...

David Cockrum has passed on. The cause of death was apparently complications from diabetes; he died peacefully, in his sleep. Comics fans would know him from a number of projects, amongst them Giant Size X-Men #1 where he helped introduce Colossus, Storm and Nightcrawler to the world, his run on the Legion of Super Heroes, and possibly his self-published work The Futurians. You can find some nice retrospectives on his career and what he did for Marvel and for DC Comics.
posted by mephron on Nov 26, 2006 - 27 comments

Miss Rhythm passes on

The Rhythm & Blues Review is a one+ hour Google video clip of a 1955 Apollo show featuring Lionel Hampton, Sarah Vaughn, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Cab Calloway -- and at 1.05, Miss Rhythm herself, blues diva Ruth Brown singing her signature song, Teardrops From My Eyes. Ruth Brown sadly passed away on Friday. [More on Ruth Brown]
posted by madamjujujive on Nov 19, 2006 - 15 comments

There's One More Angel In Maize 'n' Blue Heaven

Bo Knew Football. On the eve of one of the most anticipated college football matchups in decades, Bo Schembechler, the storied ex coach of the Michigan Wolverines passes away. The Michigan/OSU game is one of the longest and most storied rivalries in the history of sports. His battles with Woody Hayes are the stuff of Wolverine and Buckeye legend. Hail to the Victors, Bo.
posted by spicynuts on Nov 17, 2006 - 39 comments

Milton Friedman dies at 94

Milton Friedman has died. One of the most famous economists to come out of the Chicago school, his 1962 book Capitalism and Freedom was a straightforward challenge to the predominant Keynesian model that government intervention was frequently necessary to prevent market failures, arguing instead that the way to true political freedom was through economic freedom. He was a devout monetarist and although conventional wisdom conflates conservatism with laissez-faire economics, he described his own philosophy as liberal in the Enlightenment sense of the word. His 1980 book Free to Choose, written with his wife Rose in conjunction with the PBS series of the same name, explained in layman's term his philosophy of how a truly free market works for the benefit of society.
posted by Doofus Magoo on Nov 16, 2006 - 123 comments

R.I.P. Doris Self

R.I.P. Doris Self, the world's oldest video game competitor. In 1983, she achieved a world record score of 1,112,300 points on the arcade game Q*Bert. Two years later, her record fell, but she was encouraged to continue playing by Pac-Man record holder Billy Mitchell, who delivered a Q*Bert arcade machine to her door. Doris would play Q*Bert five nights per week from 1-3:00 AM in the morning as an alternative to taking pills for sleeping. She continued playing Q*Bert competitively well into 2006.
posted by Otis on Nov 13, 2006 - 20 comments

Jack Williamson, 1908-2006

When Jack Williamson published his first story, Isaac Asimov was eight years old. Seventy-three years later, his novella, "The Ultimate Earth," won the Hugo and Nebula awards. Easily the longest career in science fiction, and one of the most distinguished, came to a close yesterday: Williamson died at the age of 98. (Boing Boing, Locus.)
posted by mcwetboy on Nov 11, 2006 - 21 comments

Goodbye, Ellen.

Ellen Willis was a writer and critic who wrote for the Voice, the Nation, and Dissent, among many others; her NYU homepage and Wikipedia entry link to a number of essays and reviews, all of which are worth your time. She didn't make me a feminist, but her writing gave me much of the intellectual framework of my feminism and throughout the depressing retreat of the '80s reminded me there was still humor and hope. (From her Wikiquote page: "My deepest impulses are optimistic; an attitude that seems to me as spiritually necessary and proper as it is intellectually suspect.") She died yesterday, of lung cancer, at the absurdly early age of 64. I'd like to quote from her "Escape from New York" (Village Voice, July 29-Aug. 4, 1981), an account of a bus trip across the country that shows her inextricable mix of the personal, the political, and the just plain human: [more inside]
posted by languagehat on Nov 10, 2006 - 15 comments

Actor Jack Palance dies.

RIP, Jack.
posted by bz on Nov 10, 2006 - 79 comments


Ed Bradley has passed away. We are seriously mourning his loss at NPR. He was the ultimate professional, sharp as a nail, and a damn good friend.
posted by bluedaniel on Nov 9, 2006 - 82 comments

Why Take Chances?

Sid Davis : April 1, 1916 - October 16, 2006.
posted by Tuwa on Nov 8, 2006 - 28 comments

William Styron, R.I.P.

William Styron, R.I.P The good writing of any age has always been the product of someone's neurosis. One of the true 20th century American masters, is gone from pneumonia, at the age of 81. A writer of some the most fluent prose I have ever had the privilege to read, he also wrote one of the best first-person accounts of clinical depression ever written.
posted by psmealey on Nov 2, 2006 - 27 comments

Thick Description

Pioneering Anthropologist Clifford Geertz Dies. An era ends.
posted by Seth_Messinger on Oct 31, 2006 - 55 comments

Fallen Climbing Legend

Todd Skinner falls to his death Sport and free climbing pioneer/entrepreneur, Todd Skinner, died over the weekend in a 500-foot fall. Sadly, it appears that his death was from a "..very worn.." belay loop on his harness. I met Todd about 10 years ago, and was struck by his warmth and enthusiasm. He spent almost three hours at a dingy Seattle climbing gym with about 10 neophyte femail climbers. He helped us all climb better and have more fun. He was generous with his praise, and offered truly helpful instruction - his ego did not get in the way (unlike many climbing instructors/"stars"). He'll be missed.
posted by dbmcd on Oct 30, 2006 - 32 comments

the unbearable lightness of being

Sven Nykvist leaves us. A master at the subtle manipulation of light, the multiple academy award winner and longtime Ingmar Bergman collaborator (including Persona, and the Through a Glass Darkly/Winter Light/The Silence trilogy) has passed away at 83.
more obits [1] [2] more about him [1] [2]
posted by juv3nal on Sep 21, 2006 - 22 comments

Rolling Stone from Texas

'Pavarotti of the Plains' In 1957, Don Walser stopped recording country music and became a National Guardsman, just as rock 'n' roll took over the airwaves. He stayed with the Guard for 39 years, but around 1990, his performances at Henry's in Austin, Texas developed a following. By the end of the decade, he would sign to Sire Records, open for Ministry and the Butthole Surfers, collaborate with Kronos Quartet and be honored with a National Heritage Award. Walser retired from his music career in 2001 because of ill health. He passed away on Wednesday at age 72.
posted by NemesisVex on Sep 21, 2006 - 17 comments

Oriana Fallaci dead at 76

"My cancers are so bad that I think I've arrived at the end of the road. What a pity. I would like to live not only because I love life so much, but because I'd like to see the result of the trial. I do think I will be found guilty." -Oriana Fallaci
posted by felix betachat on Sep 15, 2006 - 47 comments

Teardrop Cells.

Vernon Ingram, who discovered the molecular cause of sickle cell anemia, has died. Dr. Ingram, a professor and active neuroscientist at MIT, demonstrated that conversion of glutamic acid to valine at position 6 of the ß-chain of human hemoglobin [Note: .pdf of original paper] was the sole abnormality in sickle hemoglobin. This seminal observation, which was based on an early version of 2-D protein electrophoresis, demonstrated that a protein abnormality in which a single amino acid is altered can produce a complex clinical disorder. Linus Pauling said, in response to Ingram's discovery, "“It is astounding that the difference in structure is so small – only about a dozen atoms out of 10,000 in the molecule are different. On such small atomies man’s fate depends!” Often called "The Father of Molecular Biology," Ingram's discovery is part of a remarkable, fascinating, and century long scientific endeavour to understand the biology of sickle cell disease.
posted by scblackman on Sep 10, 2006 - 12 comments

Peter Brock, RIP.

In another shock for Australians this week, car racing legend Peter Brock has been killed in a fatal car crash at a race in Western Australia. May He Rest In Peace.
posted by cholly on Sep 7, 2006 - 29 comments

Stephen Robert "Steve" Irwin (22 February 1962 - 4 September 2006. May he RIP.

Steve Irwin, better known as The Crocodile Hunter, is dead after a sting-ray barb went through his chest. He is survived by his wife and two children and both he and his larger than life persona will be missed.
posted by Effigy2000 on Sep 3, 2006 - 469 comments

Glenn Ford - 1916-2006

All those things I can do. All those powers. And I couldn't even save him.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher on Aug 31, 2006 - 26 comments

once described himself as 'a fourth- or fifth-rate writer,'

"Life is wise to deceive us," he once wrote, "for had it told us from the start what it had in store for us, we would refuse to be born." --Naguib Mahfouz, RIP --and more from when he won the Nobel in 1988
posted by amberglow on Aug 30, 2006 - 20 comments

Maynard Ferguson, RIP

Here's a dot . an octave and a half above high C for the legendary jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson, who has passed away at 78. Building on the experimental wanderings of Miles Davis, Ferguson fused jazz and rock in creating what is quite probably the signature big band sound of the psychadelic and disco eras. (See, e.g., "Rocky" (.wav).) He was well-known for astounding technical proficiency and his tight-lipped embochure created one of the largest ranges of any trumpeter. (Here's Ferguson playing and conducting "Round Midnight" in a very early clip [youtube]). But legions of former high school trumpet geeks full disclosure: I am one will remember him best for his commitment to signing promising young players for his tours and his reaching out, with tireless touring at tiny venues, to high school and college bandies and drum corps-types who at one time or another came across his repertoire.
posted by Saucy Intruder on Aug 24, 2006 - 32 comments

Bruno Kirby, 57, dies of leukemia.

Bruno Kirby, 57, dies of leukemia.
posted by zardoz on Aug 15, 2006 - 48 comments

Fred the Undercover Cat dead at 15 months.

Fred the Undercover Cat dead at 15 months.
posted by rxrfrx on Aug 12, 2006 - 31 comments

RIP Mike

Mike Douglas dead.
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Aug 11, 2006 - 42 comments

James Van Allen 1914 - 2006

James Van Allen the discoverer of the Van Allen Radiation Belts died today, aged 91.
posted by hardcode on Aug 9, 2006 - 20 comments

Olga Maria Elisabeth Frederike Schwarzkopf, b. Dec. 9, 1915

Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, soprano, 1915-2006.
posted by jfuller on Aug 5, 2006 - 17 comments

Love without Arthur Lee

R.I.P. Arthur Lee The enigmatic and volatile frontman from the '60s psych group Love, has reportedly passed away after a battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
posted by dhammond on Aug 3, 2006 - 45 comments

Murray Bookchin dead at 85

Social theorist Murray Bookchin died July 30th in his home in Burlington, Vermont. During a prolific activist career spanning half a century, Bookchin forged a new anti-authoritarian outlook called social ecology, which sought to reclaim local political power, by means of direct popular democracy, against the consolidation and increasing centralization of the nation state. Bookchin was a relentless critic of ideologically similar movements that he found disturbing, including the New Left's drift toward Marxism-Leninism in the late 1960s, tendencies toward mysticism and misanthropy in the radical environmental movement, and the growing focus on individualism and personal lifestyles among anarchists. He was kicked out of the Young Communist League at age 18 for openly criticizing Stalin. In 1974, he co-founded the Institute for Social Ecology. He published more than 20 books and hundreds of articles during his lifetime. A public memorial service will be held for him in Burlington, Vermont, on Sunday, August 13th. (Summarized from an email sent by Brian Tokar.)
posted by strangeleftydoublethink on Jul 31, 2006 - 18 comments

David Gemmell has died.

David Gemmell has died.
posted by essexjan on Jul 28, 2006 - 13 comments

Man of Honor

"We have many traditions. In my career, I have encountered most of them. Some are good, some not so good. I would, however not be here today were it not for our greatest tradition of all... honor." Carl Brashear, the US Navy's first African American diver and the subject of the 2000 movie Men of Honor has died at age 75.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow on Jul 27, 2006 - 11 comments


Red Buttons, a comedian perhaps more famous for his dramatic roles and for his famous "Never got a dinner!" line at many Friar's Club roasts. (He finally got his own roast in 1982), died yesterday at the age of 87. Glad you got your dinner, Red.
posted by WhipSmart on Jul 13, 2006 - 21 comments

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Syd Barrett passes on. Pink Floyd founder (paid tribute to by his former bandmates in "Shine On You Crazy Diamond) who had succumbed to mental illness passes away due to complications of diabetes. RIP.
posted by jonmc on Jul 11, 2006 - 208 comments

Inspirational Climber

Tom Weir, climber, writer, broadcaster and cult figure, best known for the show 'Weir's Way' has passed away at age 91. Recently honoured for bringing Scotlands environment and its issues to public attention. I'll be climbing a munro in rememberance. RIP.
posted by Shave on Jul 7, 2006 - 11 comments

She's With Charles Now

RIP Harriet. She passed away overnight from a heart attack. She was 175 years old, the size of a dinner table, and may have known Charles Darwin. She was Harriet the Tortoise, the world's oldest living animal, and lived a life of quiet dignity.
posted by justkevin on Jun 23, 2006 - 41 comments

Tramp The Dirt Down?

Haughey Dead No, not that one. Charles Haughey – Former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland, and probably the most controversial figure in recent Irish political history, has died of complications arising from prostate cancer.
posted by Sk4n on Jun 13, 2006 - 26 comments

Hilton Ruiz is dead.

Hilton Ruiz is dead. The wonderful pianist Hilton Ruiz, who "had been in a coma since May 19, when he was found outside a French Quarter bar with severe head injuries," has died in a New Orleans hospital. He'd played with everyone from Freddie Hubbard and Rahsaan Roland Kirk to Charles Mingus, Betty Carter, Archie Shepp, and Clark Terry. Sad news, especially coming hard on the heels of the loss of Billy Preston.
posted by languagehat on Jun 8, 2006 - 16 comments


Vince Welnick, former Grateful Dead keyboardist, dies
posted by pyramid termite on Jun 3, 2006 - 40 comments

Don't mess with the bull, young man. You'll get the horns.

Veteran actor Paul Gleason, who played Principal Richard "Dick" Vernon of The Breakfast Club and who acted in over 120 films television shows, died Saturday of lung cancer at age 67.
posted by QuestionableSwami on May 29, 2006 - 46 comments

Sorrentino, adieu

One of our greatest living writers died yesterday, and no one seems to care. I can't find a damn news story about it. A revolutionary teacher, thinker and critic, Sorrentino will be remembered as a "a reckless heir to Borges, Barthelme and Groucho Marx." Never read him? Start here.
posted by mattbucher on May 19, 2006 - 43 comments

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